Headline: Mélenchon plays old tunes to mobilize the opposition to Macron
Sub-headline: The veteran leftist is leading the resistance to the president’s reform agenda
The headline and sub-headline tell the story, but the reader can only marvel at Ms Chassany’s opening paragraph!
As the dust settles four months after Emmanuel Macron’s centrist hurricane made landfall on the French political scene, one unlikely survivor is still standing: Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
This sentence has a comic resonance, as it is hyperbole from start to finish, as that ‘centrist hurricane’ was marred by a near record of 37% of unmarked, spoiled or otherwise unreadable ballots! The vaunted Macron Victory would be better described as more hot air than hurricane.
Then there are those tens of thousands of malcontents, whipped up by an old school Marxist Mr Mélenchon:
Reacting to Mr Macron’s comments, a few days earlier, that “democracy is not the street”, Mr Mélenchon went on to deliver some of his most controversial attacks to date: “Mr President, you need to consult France’s history to learn that the street killed the kings. The street shot down the Nazis, the street secured a fourth week of paid leave, the street killed the Juppé plan, the street secured the withdrawal of the CPE.”
Why after just four months of Macron’s Jupertarian Politics, rule by decree, and his En Marche Neo-Liberals have these tens of thousands gathered to listen to this utterly passe Marxist’s rantings?
Another breathtaking propaganda assertion by Ms Chassany:
It is a paradox that at, at a time of profound political renewal in France, a 66-year-old far-left politician has emerged as Mr Macron’s main political opponent. Macronism seems to be a product of the failure of old ideologies.
One wonders at the sheer brass of Ms Chassany proclaiming: ‘…at a time of profound political renewal in France…: where ever Neo-Liberalism has become policy, enacted and practiced catastrophe follows, without exception! What follows: ‘Macronism seems to be a product of the failure of old ideologies.’ Not so, he was the lesser of two evils! If the reader is looking for failed ideologies, one need only turn your attention to Britain, America, Chile, etc. in the thrall of the Free Market Swindle.
Then Ms. Chassany diagnoses the French political malady: ‘Traditional mainstream parties in France, on right and left, are struggling — divided, consumed by self-doubt and in desperate search of new ideas.’ The ‘as if’ here is that Neo-Liberalism is The Answer to a malady described by a Free Market Partisan.
Then in her political zeal to dismiss Mr Mélenchon as ‘old school’ and given to ‘anti-capitalist rants’ Ms Chassany gives the reader his estimate of Macron, as what he is, an “oligarch” and the author of “a social coup d’état”. Neo-Liberalism is in fact just that, an attack that seeks to supplant the republican tradition with the primacy of the dog eat dog of The Market.
Amid all the disruption, Mr Mélenchon, with his old-school Marxist rhetoric, seems to have found an opening. His speech on Saturday was a predictable anti-capitalist rant portraying Mr Macron as an “oligarch” seeking to oppress the masses. Never afraid to exaggerate, Mr Mélenchon labelled Mr Macron’s reform drive “a social coup d’état”.
At this point Ms Chassany repeats one of the cornerstones of Neo-Liberal propaganda: that the Right and Left divide has lost its political viability, if it ever had any, courtesy of that political/economic/philosophical charletain Friedrich Hayek!
By starting his term with pro-business reforms and tax breaks for the wealthy, Mr Macron has allowed Mr Mélenchon to exploit a very French suspicion of money and so to revive the old right-left divide.
Neo-Liberalism is presented as a form of Political Transcendentalism, the Right /Left divide presented as political anachronism, that cancels the whole of the history of the republican tradition e.g. as presented in J.G. A. Pocock’s The Machiavellian Moment. The reader need only look to America and Britain to see the fruits of this ersatz Transcendentalism. Look also at Macron’s ‘plummeting’ poll numbers as reported in the pages of this newspaper. Then those Jupertarian Politics look like what they are naked authoritarianism!
Ms Chassany gives the last words of her essay to two discontented voices of the French people. Actual Journalism at last?